What runs by when i run by.

Day 1.

6.45ish, clear skies – am out for a run, jog, walk.

Hari Om!

A smiling man with a protruding gait said the words while walking towards a couple of men waiting by a car for him.

I eyed the road as it stretches straight ahead, slopes up for a while, then circles back & loops like a narrow necklace. I wear my headphones (no music), stretch my legs and begin walking slow and easy.

Day2.

Aamake **#$** hoichey

Lady in black talks to girl in red as they jog past me speaking either Bengali or Oriya. My legs sore from day one, I pick up my pace but not my pride as they easily pass me by.

Day 3.   

So I got a similar diamond set made for Preeti. After all what do her in-laws think?

I was at the slope when I overtook the aunty in the pink salwar-suit & white Nike’s with a faint limp gossiping with the aunty in sensible slip-ons & a green salwar suit. I smiled as I overtook them. Only then I heard –   

Hu-hu-hu-hu…

The man jogged past – head, chest, torso, limbs everything picture perfect except his right arm held up to his chest was completely still. And the grunting noise he made.  

I hit the slope downhill. I ran, okay jogged – slow, slow, knees hurt, but kept at it.

Day 4.

Bow wow bow wow

The white Labrador sat in the space between the handle & the scooter chassis where his human talked to another man. The engine was rearing, the dog clearly impatient to get the scooter on the road as I passed them on the slope without slowing down.

Day 5

Only one man has taken the party & this country to such heights – said the man sporting a red tilak on his forehead to the other men sporting red threads around their wrists. 

We can think about a picnic – said the group head as the lady behind him shook her head. 

Get back! Get back! – shouts from the cricket ground.

After the third round, the conversations became a blur, my breath ragged, I pushed ahead. Barely. When a gecko on the pavement raced ahead, I raced alongside forgetting my pain.

Day 6.

Lift your legs – said my mind.

Shut up! said me.

She ran past, her back showed in the ‘v’ of her blouse suggested a strong spine – one that comes from hard labour. Her nimble jog (in a saree) without breaking a sweat hit me hard. I ran behind as sweat stained my double XL T-shirt. Then she answered her cell phone (still running) while maintaining the pace of her run!

I realised we were never in the same league, she had been running for a much longer time – would beat me each time, even without competing. She had been running for far longer, before me & before any of the people here. When I stopped, I had completed 5 rounds – she was nowhere to be seen.

Day 7.

As I sat with my laptop open, I thought of the people I had run by. I realised I could keep writing about my run yet not write all of it. I wrote what I could, the rest I will find out more when tomorrow I run again.

Published by appamprawns

soni writes about children and people in controlled spaces, in his quest for appam stew. homi writes in the hope of being able to buy prawns to make patiyo.

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